It shows the utter crisis in that party that someone so fair-minded, and such a champion of pension reform, should have felt he had to leave Labour and stand as an independent.
As chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee he was a fierce inquisitor, able to shred the nerves of some of the most powerful business leaders in the country. He was the scourge of Philip Green. Parliament will miss him, and I wish him well.
The bounce in the markets would have been a tremendous day for Neil Woodford’s Equity Income fund. How ironic that as the FTSE 250 soared to a high, his former fund was telling investors about when they may get their money back.
His protégé, Invesco’s Mark Barnett, meanwhile revelled in the rises, putting out an uncharacteristically chipper statement.
At least he had the decency not to say, ‘I told you so.’
James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times